It’s My Space!

Yesterday I unveiled Moodle with my AP World students. I had expected a little difficulty getting student accounts inputted, teaching them the basics, and getting them to explore the site.

But something complete different happened. Once everyone logged in, I stood and watched in amazement. They picked the system apart, finding every feature, clicking on things I hadn’t even explore yet. Soon I saw pop-up windows all over the room, – Moodle apparently has a messenger component. I don’t think it is as efficient as instant messaging, but it was close enough for them. This process was repeated each period.

By the end of the day, I was speechless.

At the last four workshops I taught, I discussed with fellow teachers the concept of the “Internet as a community builder.” Tools like, flckr, and even QuestGarden revolve around this idea. My primary example, however, was blogging. I consider myself part of an edublogging community. I also mentioned that the students are already doing this. The have accounts with MySpace, LiveJournal, and DeadJournal. They know how to do this stuff. I told other teachers that we need to harness this energy and these skills for good!

For that reason, I expected that the students would take to Moodle. But they were practically cheering and doing summersaults. Their enthusiasm was amazing. It was fun to watch. We will see if it has staying power, but I think that if I make them use for various assignments, the community part will naturally come with it – because they are know this stuff.

I get to watch from sidelines and cheer them on. I love technology, actually, I love seeing technology change.

6 thoughts on “It’s My Space!”

  1. Dear Mr. McDowell,

    I would love to hear more about your use of Moodle with your classes. I was looking into it, brought the idea to the tech integration specialist at my school who pointed me to Blackboard but then to (because I was more interested in a discussion forum for my students.)

    I teach AP World as well. Anyway, my email is if you have any time to write back. Thanks!

    Angela Lee


  2. I think it is excellent that you are integrating technology in the classroom. I am a university student majoring in AYASS, and if there’s one thing I’m realizing, it’s that technology can work wonders. Whenever I am working with kids and I have the opportunity to incorporate anything concerning computers, their attention levels skyrocket. I hope that more teachers begin to catch on to this. Even elementary students are becoming computer gurus. It’s amazing! Keep it up!


  3. Given the proper motivation, there is no one more ingenious at discovering hidden stuff (and breaking firewalls than a teenager!

    I wish that our district in the “Imperial” Valley would allow this.


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